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This batch of fundraising ideas will just include ideas for the donation boxes themselves on both a large and a small scale. As always, use this post as a springboard into whatever works best for your community and your budget.
You can also pair any of these events with a letter writing campaign to collect monetary donations as well to collect money for your club and also to buy the shelter inhabitants new items to go along with the gently used ones.
For the individual boxes, it might actually be easier for PTO/PTA to just collect monetary donations and then go purchase all of the items that they wanted to pack in the boxes. If you can get some of the items donated, like backpacks to keep all of the items in, that would be even better!
Donations To Vote
One way to utilize donation boxes to fundraise is to use them as collection receptacles for donations/votes. Set out several boxes, one for each person running during a particular event, and ask the students to place money in the box of whomever they want to win. Whichever box has the most money in it at the end of the event wins the vote and all of the money goes to the PTA/PTO.
Partner with a local shelter or group home and let your students know that you’re collecting gently used coats for the shelter. As your collection event is going on, contact local businesses, tell them about your event, and ask them to donate monetarily to support your school and the shelter. Once the event is over, give the coats and up to half of the money to the shelter and use the other half for your school club.
Let your community know that you’re collecting gently used bags and purses to donate to a local women’s/men’s shelter. After that feel free to contact businesses to collect funds on behalf of your club and the shelter. Once your event is over, donate the bags and up to half of the money to the shelter!
Shoes are a really popular clothing item as kids grow out of them so quickly. Collecting gently used shoes for donations is a perfect way to give back to the community: they help people clean out their closets and they provide people in need with something really important.
Event organizers have a few choices with this event. They can partner with a shelter, the community, and local businesses the same way they did for purses and coats, or they can just collect the shoes and turn them over to another organization that pays for shoes by weight. Either way, you’re helping your community!
Another way to help your community members that are in need is to just use donation boxes to collect cash donations. Set out several boxes in high traffic areas so as many people can see and donate to your cause as possible. PRO TIP: if you just plan to collect cash in a donation box, make sure the box is clear and is set out with some money already in it. Studies show that people prefer to donate when it looks like other people have donated already.
Every kid loves toys! Set out a few toy donation boxes around the school during the holidays and ask your students to drop off toys that they no longer play with to give to a shelter. As always, petition your local businesses to donate monetarily, and with the money you can either give half to the shelter, or use some of the money your club allocated to them to go buy some new toys for the kids.
Collect gently used books to donate to group homes or shelters over the course of a few months.
Have this box ready to hand out to mothers of young children who are down on their luck. These boxes should include: diapers (have different boxes for different diaper sizes), formula powder, bottles, baby toys, baby books, baby teething items, baby washcloth, or anything else the baby might need.
School Supplies Box
Make an announcement to your students and their parents that you’re collecting various school supplies. Once you have everything together, equally distribute the supplies among each of the boxes and have them ready to hand out to the individual underprivileged students before the start of the new year.
School supplies can include pencils, pens, crayons, map pencils, markers, scissors, glue, construction paper, plus anything else the kids could need for the year.
Girl Box (2-9)
In this box, pack: dolls, doll beds, watercolor set, notepads, puzzles, legos, pens, pencils, colored pencils, pencil sharpener, crayons, markers, coloring books, stuffed animals, blocks, mittens/gloves, washcloth, toothbrushes, comb/brush, tshirt, socks, and anything else you can think of that will help.
Boy Box (2-9)
In this box, pack: stuffed animal or toy, small ball, slinky, etch-a-sketch, playdough, plastic tools, building blocks, plastic dinosaurs, pencils, markers, colored pencils, crayons, picture book, watercolor paint set, notepads, coloring book, comb/brush, toothbrushes, reusable cup and utensils and anything else you can think of that will help.
Girl Box (10-14)
In this box, pack: pens, pencils, colored pencils, note pads, stickers, glue stick, puzzles, jumprope, comb/brush, toothbrushes, chapstick, hair ties, wash cloth, doll or stuffed animal, chalkboard and chalk, plus anything else you can think of that will help.
Boy Box (10-14)
In this box, pack: a multitool, scissors, notepads, colored pencils, regular pencils, pencil sharpener, bungee cords, toy truck, socks, tshirt, toothbrushes, cup, utensil set, zip lock bag, wash cloth, comb, duct tape, chapstick, plus anything else that you can think of that might help.
Lady Street Box
In this street box, pack it the same way you would a general street box but in this version, include a menstrual cup or other reusable sanitary products.
General Street Box
Street boxes are designed to hand out to people who live primarily on the street or outside of the shelter setting. Inside of the box, pack: socks, granola bars, a bottle of water, hand and toe warmers in colder areas, gloves, sunscreen, wet wipes, bandaids, a washcloth, lip balm, and anything else you can think of that might help.